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Submitted by Navin Pathak on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 4:58pm.

How to Bargain with Street Vendors in India | Entry India

No trip to India is complete without a shopping spree. The local markets with roadside shops selling handicrafts, colorful garments, intricate jewelry and more are a shopper’s delight. But, when you are shopping in India, there is one thing you need to remember. Bargaining is ingrained in Indian culture. Needless to say, the prices of all the items in these roadside shops are always marked up. Of course, like in any local market across the globe, the locals know who is not one of them and may start with an exorbitant price to test their luck.

So, paying the price that the vendor demands would cost you extra. Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to get yourself a good bargain:

  • Never let the vendor know that you have your heart set on an item. No matter how much you want it, your body language should not reveal it. If you feel like the vendor is being adamant on a price, place the item back and walk away. The vendor will offer you a better deal in most cases. Even if he or she does not, you will be able to find the exact item in a different store for a better price in all probability.
  • Agree on the price before you whip your wallet out. Getting your wallet out too quickly is also a sign of urgency. Take your time to bargain and only then get your money out to pay.
  • You should also know the price that you can start bargaining from. The prices can be marked up to almost double the original price of the item. So, somewhere between 40-50% below the price that the vendor quotes is a great starting point. In the end, if you manage to walk away with a discount of at least 30% on the original price, you can be assured that you got yourself a good bargain.  

If you don’t feel sure of doing this on your own, get a local to accompany you for practice. Then, you can learn the art of bargaining better.